Museums Home BMAGiC Home Search Browse BMAGiC Help About BMAGiC Contact Us

Stay Busk

View main imageView larger image
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Additional Images

Click on each image below to view at full size:
View image 2 View image 3 View image 4 

Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T3849
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1800 - 1850


Women used corset stiffeners, also known as 'staybusks' to achieve a smooth outline to the body and a tiny waist.Although most busks were probably made from plain pieces of wood or bone, many were carved and decorated and given as love tokens. It is even believed that some of the more elaborate ones were worn on the outside of the dress rather than being tucked away inside the corset. This one is carved on whalebone and is probably the work of a sailor. This type of carving is known as 'Scrimshaw'.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Incised whalebone.
Material(s):Whale bone
Place of Origin:England


Height:39.5 cm
Width:5.1 cm
Depth:0.3 cm